When I was a kid we had a tight budget. Like "we're broke until payday and that's next week" poor. One of the ways Dad used to stretch out food from the pantry was a variation on this recipe that he would make with all of the stale bread that was left at the end of the month. While I don't need to stretch my grocery budget that far anymore, I decided to give this a try made the way I always dreamed of eating it as a kid.
Nice crusty french bread, wonderful thin slices of Black Forest Ham, and quality Gruyere cheese make this a throwback meal that hits all the right notes for me. Give this one a try, you won't be sorry.
Croque Monsieur Casserole
- 1 day-old baguette (12 oz.), cut into 20 slices (toast lightly if bread is fresh)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 9 ounces Gruyere, shredded
- 8 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla
- Salt and pepper
- Chop half of the bread into 1/2-inch pieces. In a bowl, toss with the melted butter.
- Spread mustard over remaining bread and arrange, overlapping slightly, in a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Fold ham slices in half and arrange in an even layer over bread. Top with half of remaining cheese. Sprinkle with the chopped bread and remaining cheese.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla and milk; season. Pour over the casserole and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Position a rack in the upper third of oven; preheat to 400 degrees . Bake until casserole puffs and top is golden-brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.